Sunday, March 20, 2011
There's been a fair amount of chatter in the Turkey-related blogosphere lately about Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's allegedly soft line regarding Qaddafi and his reluctance to sign off on force in Libya. Louis Fishman, echoing the sentiments of many people in Turkey, called upon Erdogan to return the "peace prize" (and the money associated with it) that Qaddafi awarded him last year, calling into question Erdogan's integrity in the process. Meanwhile, a couple of days ago in Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog Howard Eissenstat argued that Erdogan is more interested in Turkey's trade and financial dealings with Libya than in the cause of freedom:
But as far as the question of intervention is concerned: is it really necessary for Erdogan to be corrupt, or to only be interested in money or trade, in order to oppose NATO (or non-NATO) air strikes on Libya? Is it not possible that there might be other, less nefarious, reasons behind this opposition?
Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi may well be on his way out--but only if he can take some Jack Daniels with him
Monday, March 14, 2011
Ibrahim Tatlises, a Turkish singer of Kurdish descent who has millions of fans in Turkey and around the Middle East, was in critical condition in an Istanbul hospital yesterday after being shot in the head by unknown assailants.
[Here's the story in the Hurriyet Daily Bugle].
Tatlises is one of my favorite singers. Just last December I wrote a couple paragraphs about him, reminiscing over a concert of his I saw in Russia back when I was a graduate student. This is what I wrote back then:
***More coverage below***While I began admiring Ibrahim Tatlises' music early on in the 1990s, I didn't see him in concert until he came to St. Petersburg, Russia in the early winter months of 2004. I was over there doing dissertation research, having fled the frozen temperatures of Kazan for the relative warmth of the humid capital.So yeah, he can be a jerk. And perhaps a killer in his own right, so...it's getting kind of difficult to feel bad for him, but still: he's a human being and a great artist.
Updated, Tuesday, 8:13 pm, DC time
Global Perspectives: Ibo's condition "more positive, still critical."
Hey Mehmet Ali Bey: he's not dead!
Tuesday, 12:26 pm
The Istanbul Police Directorate has assembled 10 police teams involving 30 policemen to investigate the attack, for which no motive has been reported. As of Tuesday, police had questioned 110 people regarding the incident.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I think Ruth Marcus' take on Congressman (NY-R) Peter King's upcoming hearings regarding "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community's Response" is a thoughtful one, but I can't say I agree with it.
Marcus writes that, on the one hand, we can't hold an entire community or faith responsible for acts that are carried on in its name, but that on the other hand we can't let political correctness prevent us from asking difficult questions.
To ignore the religious nature of the terrorist threat is to succumb to politically correct delusion. To ignore the homegrown religious nature of the terrorist threat is to succumb even further.
As Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified last month before the House Committee on Homeland Security, "One of the most striking elements of today's threat picture is that plots to attack America increasingly involve American residents and citizens."
Napolitano wasn't referring to right-wing militias or lone-wolf crazies. She was talking about "terrorist groups inspired by al-Qaeda ideology." And, she pointed out, "This threat of homegrown violent extremism fundamentally changes who is most often in the best position to spot terrorist activity, investigate and respond."
True enough. But there is a difference between investigating political radicalism and investigating an entire community. This difference is spelled out by Congressman Keith Ellison, who is quoted at the end of Marcus' column:
Tuesday, March 8, 2011